These mobile libraries have more than 2500 books each.

Books on wheels How mobile libraries are helping underprivileged kids in Chennai
news Books Wednesday, May 03, 2017 - 17:38

Have you ever seen a library on wheels? Well, Chennai has more than one such library with about 2500 books each and they are reaching out to underprivileged children.

It is an initiative started by an organisation called WNS Cares Foundation. It was started in 2015 in Chennai. Currently, the mobile libraries are working mainly in two areas, Perungudi and Tirusulam. One van is stationed in these areas between 10am to 5pm. “About 15 children on an average visit the library,” said a spokesperson from WNS Cares Foundation.

How does it work? “A teacher travels with each mobile library to teach the basic academic concepts to children. The teacher evaluates each child’s academic level and accordingly, suggests a plan. Also, the mobile library is not only restricted to book reading activity. It also conducts other activities including storytelling competition, basic computer skills and games,” said a spokesperson.

Books are brought from the National Book Trust and the library also consists of Tamil story books and autobiographies. Each mobile library is air-conditioned.

That is not all. “In addition to this, the van also has a computer supported by a 4G internet dongle with the purpose of exposing the children to the world of technology and giving access to more reading material. The mobile libraries are equipped with a solar inverter, a water dispenser and an umbrella for the kids to spread out,” said a spokesperson from WNS Cares Foundation. 

Not only in Chennai, but mobile libraries are helping children in other parts of the country also like Mumbai, Nashik, Pune and Vizag. Asked about the response from children, the spokesperson said, “Not just in Chennai, the response has been overwhelming across the nation, for the WNS Cares Foundation mobile library initiative. With a fleet of eight vans now, WCF reaches to over 8,000 children through the mobile libraries in under-served areas across Mumbai, Nashik, Pune Vizag and Chennai.”